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Ontario expanding cycling and GO rail infrastructure in Toronto


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August 16, 2016 by On-Site Magazine

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 1.19.14 PMThrough funding made available under the Moving Ontario Forward plan, Ontario and Metrolinx announced improvements to the Dufferin St. Bridge, as part of GO Regional Express Rail (RER).

Metrolinx is expanding the Dufferin St. Bridge at Queen St. in Toronto to accommodate the additional track needed for the Barrie GO corridor as part of the GO RER program. GO RER is a plan to provide faster and more frequent service on the GO Transit rail network with electrification on core segments, including the Union-Pearson (UP) Express. These service improvements will also help enable the City of Toronto’s SmartTrack plan.

“As our city grows, we need everyone to be able to move around quickly, safely and efficiently. Working with our provincial partners, these improvements to the Dufferin Bridge will help more Toronto residents get downtown on SmartTrack and GO RER. It will allow for the extension of the vital cycling and pedestrian corridor along the West Toronto Railpath and it will create a great new public park that will contribute to the quality of life for local residents,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

In addition, Metrolinx is partnering with the City of Toronto to extend the West Toronto Railpath multi-use trail to the West Queen West community. This extension will run along the existing rail corridor, connecting cyclists and pedestrians from Dupont St. to just east of Dufferin St. The Railpath will also connect to the future Dufferin-Peel Park that the City of Toronto is building. The park will be a hub for West Toronto Railpath users, including cyclists and will include cycling amenities, landscaping, seating and terraces.

Quick Facts

  • This investment supports the province’s Climate Change Action Plan – which committed $200 million for cycling, including active transportation corridors along transit routes.
  • The bridge expansion contract was awarded to Ellis Don and has an award value of just over $8.4 million. Improvements are expected to take one year to complete.
  • Through the Moving Ontario Forward plan, Ontario is investing $31.5 billion over 10 years for transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure projects across the province.
  • Weekly trips across the entire GO rail network are expected to grow from about 1,500 to nearly 6,000 over 10 years.
  • Since 2003, Ontario has extended GO’s rail network by nearly 90 kilometres, opened 14 new GO stations, rebuilt four existing stations, and added more than 31,000 new parking spots across the system.
  • Research shows that every $100 million of public infrastructure investment in Ontario boosts GDP by $114 million, particularly in construction and manufacturing sectors.
  • Ontario is on track to balance the budget next year, in 2017-18, which will also continue to lower the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio.

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